Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Disgraceful Scenes at Leagrave

High Street, Leagrave 1914 [Z1306/75/12/3]

Wednesday 22nd September 1915: Complaints have been made of “disgraceful scenes” at Leagrave as a result of the National Reservists stationed there enjoying themselves outdoors on a Sunday afternoon. More generous spirits have pointed out that it would be better if the complainers used their influence to provide better facilities for the men stationed at Leagrave, such as a reading room and opportunities for games. They are there to guard the premises and business of people engaged in war work and making war profits, and those firms should make better provision for the men’s comfort.

The seventy men based at Leagrave are a mix of old soldiers, militia, and old Volunteers. One-third are on duty at any time, leaving 40 or more off duty. As they have to answer a roll call every night they are unable to get far away from the village. They are billeted in houses where there is little space and the men have to find somewhere to pass their time. Many are driven to spend time in the pub because there are no alternatives. The Reservists are mostly “elderly men who have knocked about the world” and would quite reasonably resent any restrictions on their conduct.

Source: Luton News, 16th and 23rd September 1915

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